Ballmer plans to cash out 75 million Microsoft shares by year end

November 6th, 2010 at 12:45 PM  No Comments

While he will remain Microsoft’s second biggest shareholder, Steve Ballmer has begun selling off a good chunk of his shares and intends to do more before the end of the year. This week alone he’s shed over 49 million shares of common stock, netting him around $1.3 billion dollars. The remaining 26 million could go soon and net him just another half billion.

It’s the first time since 2003 Ballmer has cashed out his shares. That sell off brought Ballmer around $1.6 billion.

Bill Gates remains the biggest shareholder at Microsoft, owning around 7% of the company. Ballmer still owns around 4% of the giant. Gates himself cashed out around 3 million shares recently, probably to finance the purchase of more mosquitoes.

via CNET

Will Bill Gates pull a Steve Jobs?

November 1st, 2010 at 12:50 PM  3 Comments

If you’re an Apple fanboy you already think Microsoft just rips off Apple’s ideas. However, David Milman at ComputerWorld has asked if it’s time for Bill Gates to pull a Steve Jobs and make a return to Microsoft?

Now granted, the departure of these two tech giants from their creations were under very different circumstances. Jobs was all but thrown out on the streets of Cupertino left to wander the scorched Earth through NeXT and Pixar. Meanwhile Gates stepped down from power at Microsoft leaving Steve Ballmer as CEO and later Ray Ozzie as CSA. Gates now spends his time unleashing mosquitoes on the unsuspecting public and convincing other super billionaires like Warren Buffett to give away their money.

And like when Jobs was removed from Apple, Microsoft has been on a decline since the departure of Gates. It’s stock has declined, it’s products have lost some of their edge (although a lot of that has changed with Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7) and their focus.

Some would argue that Ballmer should have lost his job after the failure of Windows Vista. I’m inclined to fall into that camp. But is Gates the best person for that job, again? Does Microsoft need fresh blood or does it just need its old blood back? We want to hear your thoughts.

Melinda Gates: Only Zune for you!

October 26th, 2010 at 9:44 AM  1 Comment

It seems like this was news last year (it was) but in an interview with The New York Times, Melinda Gates confirmed that Apple products are forbidden in the Gates household. Want an iPod? Zune for you. Want an iPhone? How about a shiny HTC 7 Pro instead?

Do you own an iPod, which is made by Apple?
No, I have a Zune.

What if one of your children says, “Mom, I have to have an iPod?”
I have gotten that argument — “You may have a Zune.”

Do you have an iPad?
Of course not.

Is it true that Bill works on an Apple laptop?
False. Nothing crosses the threshold of our doorstep.

Isn’t there room in this world for both Apple and Microsoft?
Microsoft certainly makes products for the Macintosh. Go talk to Bill.

Also, if you were concerned for Bill’s mental health with the news that he’s no longer the richest man in the world (partly because he’s giving most of his fortune away, and partly because Microsoft’s stock has gone south) you have no reason to worry. The only person it really bothers is his daughter.

By the way, I see he fell this year back to No. 2 on the list of the world’s wealthiest people. How did he feel when the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim overtook him?
The only person that teases him about that is our youngest daughter, our 8-year-old. He couldn’t care less.